this is their lifestyle, ... need therapy.” Ferrari (2000) categorizes procrastinators into three types, based on the reason they put things off: (a) arousal types get a thrill from beating a deadline, (b) avoiders put off doing things that might make others think badly of them, and (c) decisional procrastinators postpone making a decision until they have enough information to avoid making a wrong choice.
Procrastination 3 What causes procrastination? If procrastinators are not all alike, the causes of procrastination may vary too. Several studies found that chronic procrastinators tend to have low self-esteem and focus on the past more than the future (Specter & Ferrari, 2000). In some cases, procrastination may be a response to an authoritative parenting style (Marano, 2003) or a rebellion against external demands (Ferrari, 2005). Some researchers have found that procrastinators tend to be perfectionists (Specter & Ferrari, 2000). However, Steel (2007b) does not believe that perfectionism causes procrastination. In his view, only one theory is supported by research: the Discounted Expectancy Theory. To illustrate, he uses the example of a student who puts off writing a paper. When the deadline is far off, the rewards for socializing now are greater than those for finishing a task not due until later. As the deadline looms, the rewards for finishing the paper become more important. This theory, according to Steel, gives the most complete explanation of procrastination, because it includes smaller “piece[s] of the puzzle” like rebellion and avoiding unpleasant tasks. What are the effects of procrastination? Most researchers believe that procrastination has mostly bad effects. Several studies, including one by Tice and Baumeister (1997), found that procrastinators got lower grades and had higher levels of stress and illness. Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the
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- Fall '08
- English, Ferrari